Despite their enthusiastic help (everybody likes a project!), it would have required a further trip to an engineering/machine shop to drill out part of a propeller shaft (and there was still a risk of burning out my drill). hmmm, just rock up to a machine shop, hope they're open and would bump my little job to the front of the queue? I didn't think that was likely on December 26th. So, I continued my hunt.
Why not try George Electric, I thought. Turns out they had a broken room fan that had previously used by a butcher to make biltong - I kid you not). It was in a jumble of stuff in the back room. R200 and it was mine. "But I can get a proper propeller and part of a shaft for R300 from El Shaddai," I exclaimed. "I was going to give it to my Dad," he said. hmmm, hard to beat that one, I thought. The best I could do was "Seriously, you're going to give him a broken fan?" But it worked, and we shook on R100. So out I went, smelly, greasy fan under my arm and bewildered wife looking up from her Ruzzling in the front seat (don't click on that link, I warn you - Ruzzle is to 2015 what Candy Crush was to 2014 in our household - it will consume you if you show the slightest hint of weakness!).
And then I whipped into Cash Converters on a whim. What's this? A cheap little mini-fan - even better! Unfortunately, that didn't really work too well when I took her out for a test spin on Dec 27th.
"What is this 'Blue Bottle' or 'Water Bug' you speak of that has now become your secret 'propulsion system' designed to tow 'Iron Man' swiftly through the water, ahead of all the competition and across the finish line to victory," I hear you ask. Good question. Maybe a couple of photos will help.
Here are some shots taken from early test runs of 'Blue Bottle' aka 'Water Bug' (as you might have figured out, there's some debate about the name...) on the morning of the big event.